Monday, January 9, 2012

Burma to call for offshore energy bids

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Monday, 09 January 2012 12:07 Mizzima News

(Mizzima) – Burma is ready to offer nine offshore energy blocks to bidders, after successfully awarding 10 onshore oil and gas blocks to eight companies, according to industry reports.

The winning bidders were mostly from Southeast Asia, including Malaysia's Petronas and Thailand's PTT Exploration & Production (PTTEP), as the bigger Western players have shied away from investments in the country, two Yangon-based sources with direct knowledge of the deals told Reuters on Friday.

Winning bidders were represented by Thailand, Maylaysia, Indonesia, India, Russia, Switzerland and China, said reports.

PTTEP won two onshore blocks in the offering, according to the Upstreamonline.com website. The Ministry of Energy and state-owned Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise are now offering nine offshore blocks, of which five are in deep water, it said. One source said the ministry reported: “Some oil and gas companies have come for the data presentations. There has been a lot more interest in the deep-water blocks coming from the Japanese.”

In the onshore awards, Petronas and PTTEP won two blocks each with their local partners, while little known Indonesian player ITSTECH Resources Asia won the rights to explore one block.

The lesser-known Tianjin New Highland and Hong Kong-listed EPI Holding secured a block each with local partners, sources said.

With limited interest from the usually aggressive Chinese resource giants, India's Jubilant Energy took one production-sharing block.

The Switzerland-based Geopetrol International Holdings secured the rights for a marginal oilfield, according to reports.

Russian-linked CIS Nobel Oil Company also won a production sharing contract for one oil and gas field, the sources said.

The country’s proven gas reserves stood at 11.8 trillion cubic feet at end-2010, or 0.2 per cent of the world's total, according to the BP Statistical Review, and have drawn interest from China and India where resilient economic growth is fuelling energy demand.

Reuters said Japanese Trade Minister Yukio Edano will visit Burma later this month with a business delegation that includes the president of Japan's top refiner JX Nippon Oil & Energy and representatives of trading houses Marubeni, Mitsui and Itochu, among others.

There are 47 oil and natural gas production blocks in inland Burma. China is extracting oil and gas in 23 of the 47 inland blocks. It is Burma’s largest investor; Malaysia is the second largest.

Burma has only one oil company, Myanmar Petroleum Resources Limited, which is owned by Michael Moe Myint. The Htoo Company owned by businessmen Tay Za and Nay Aung, who is the son of former Industry No. 1 Minister Aung Thaung, are shareholders in foreign oil and gas companies, according to sources close to the Ministry of Energy.

Currently, Burma’s inland blocks are producing more than 9,300 crude oil barrels a day and more than 100 million cubic feet of natural gas a day, according to government figures. The Yadana and Yetagun offshore natural gas blocks are producing more than 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day.

According statements by the Ministry of Energy, there are a total of 0.46 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the inland area in Burma and 17 trillion cubic feet in offshore blocks.

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